This article is written in partnership with demandDrive.
Every B2B company depends on generating leads to be successful. Without a stable influx of leads, it’s almost impossible to close deals and generate revenue. But, it can be hard to figure out where to start or what tactics to try out next. Once you have figured out what lead generation tactics to try, you’ll have to plan how your team can follow up with your prospects. Follow up tactics can vary based on how you were able to generate the leads. This is why we have created a list of the 10 best lead generation tactics and how to follow up.
1. Create Gated Content
Gated content refers to offering valuable content like journals, tips and tricks, market research, and other information that can only be accessed after the individual signs up for the content and provides you with some contact information. By signing up, the consumer is exchanging their personal information to access the gated content. When you have their personal information, you can reach out to them and try to begin their journey down your sales funnel. Since they are interested in your specific gated content, they will likely be a highly relevant lead.
Acknowledge the Content
Depending on the source of your intent data, you may be advised to treat your outreach as a cold call. Gated content is not one of them. If you’re reaching out to someone that entered their info voluntarily, you should absolutely address that at the beginning of your call. Anyone who fills out that kind of form knows what they’re signing up for and many of them do have a genuine interest (as long as the content is good). If you don’t give the actual reason for your call, you’ll come off as disingenuous or even downright sketchy. By remaining transparent about your reason, it sets the table for an open conversation where the prospect isn’t hesitant to share their qualifications.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, goes hand-in-hand with your lead generation and follow up tactics. SEO can help drive awareness to your business and traffic to your site. A business with a good SEO strategy will be served on search engines to their consumers before their competition for highly relevant search queries. This can include your page content, keywords, backlink strategies, and more. Don’t get discouraged if it seems like some aspects of your SEO strategy are not paying off, as it can take a while to see any return on your SEO strategies.
Learn Your Own Website
Google shouldn’t be the only thing sending prospects to your website. We’ve all been there. You’re talking to a prospect and they aren’t ready for a meeting, but they still want to learn more. If this is a true outbound cold call, sending them to the website is often the best way to help. Instead of sending over a static, targeted asset, you can send them to the website, where the marketing team keeps everything up to date with the latest content and/or product updates. By knowing what’s on the website, you’ll be able to give them some direction once they get there. Don’t just send them to the homepage. Send them to the page you think would be most relevant to them, and let them wander around the site from there.
Not All Warm Leads Should Be Treated That Way
Remember what I said about not always mentioning why you’re calling? This should be one of those situations. Just because a prospect has seen an ad multiple times, doesn’t mean they interacted with it or even took the time to notice it. The good news is that you can still trust the retargeting campaign to tell you that the prospect is likely a good fit. The bad news is that the prospect might not feel that way or even know the name of your company. In other words, these will be some of the coldest warm leads you get. So what do you do? Treat them like you would any other cold outreach. Act as though you’ve done the research and know that they’re the right person to speak with.
4. Offer a Free Trial or Sample
Offering your prospects, a free trial or sample before they commit is a great way to show how your product will benefit their business. Along with a free trial or sample, offering a demo of your product will answer any questions your prospects may have, and increase the chance of them continuing on with your product. Plus, the leads who take advantage of the free trial or sample can provide you with helpful feedback that you can use to improve the experience of your future leads.
Offering a free trial is a great way to start the conversation about product feedback and what they want to see from your product, but if you turn into a salesperson as soon as you see the opportunity it can cause a prospect to shy away. By continuing to have a consultative approach you’ll build the relationship between yourself and the prospect. Once that’s been well established, pushing for a meeting is A) a lot easier and B) will come at a point when both of you recognize the need, not just you.
With more than 80% of B2B leads sourced from social media coming from LinkedIn, there is no question that LinkedIn lead generation is crucial for B2B companies. Both your personal and your company profiles should be fully optimized including a professional image, description, and up-to-date info. While consumers may search up your company’s page, it can seem more personable to connect and engage with your prospects with your personal page. Further, the LinkedIn advertising platform is a great channel to get in front of targeted audiences easily.
Why am I giving you the same advice twice? Because it’s that damn important. It takes a different shape on LinkedIn, but the idea is still the same. Just because salespeople go on LinkedIn to sell, doesn’t mean that’s where prospects go to buy. They’ve got their own networks and connections to worry about. You sending a sales pitch veiled behind a connection request isn’t going to do anything but annoy the prospect. Talk about a bad first impression. Those who succeed at social selling are the ones who know how to be a consultant first. If they want to pitch their product they pick up their phone or send an email. LinkedIn should be a place where salespeople build relationships and allow those connections to bring interested prospects to them, not the other way around.
6. Email Marketing
Email lead generation and refers to collecting leads through email opt-in forms and cold emailing strategies. The forms can be collected via subscription, gated content, sign ups, etc. Once you have collected their contact information, you can follow up with them and hopefully create a sale. You should create concise emails that are straight to the point and focus on how you can help them.
Marketing emails are perfect for getting a standard message out to as many relevant parties as possible. When it’s the sales director’s turn to reach out to those people, it’s important to differentiate yourself from those emails. Make sure to denote how you found out about their interest. Speak to them as an individual and not a group. And most importantly, be genuine. By putting a bit of your own personality into your outreach it allows the prospect to make a personal connection where they once only had a connection with a brand. From there it will become much easier to continue to build rapport and eventually hand them off to your AE.
7. Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate more leads. There are a ton of different ways to get your content out there. From posting images to guest podcasts, and blogs, every business will be able to post niche content to attract the perfect prospects. A few of the best ways to generate leads are blog posts, videos, and podcasts.
Creating blog content is a great way to generate more traffic for your website. With our blog at Visitor Queue, we answer common questions people may have about the B2B industry, lead generation, following up, as well as general business content. If a potential lead is searching for a topic that we have written about, then Google may show them our article. We have received a ton of subscriptions and free trial sign ups through our blog. You will want to ensure your blog follows SEO and readability guidelines in order for them to be shown to searchers.
Podcasts have become hugely popular over the past few years. With the boom in podcasts, they are a great place to get your business’ name out there. Your CEO or another member of your team can start a podcast. Starting your own podcast is a great way to get discovered online, and feature interesting guests. But, starting your own podcast can take a lot of time and be expensive. You could also reach out to podcasts and ask to be featured. This is a great way to generate thousands of brand impressions for free.
Videos are another great way to generate leads. Similar to blogs, videos can be discovered on search engines. YouTube is also the second-largest search engine in the world (behind Google). You can optimize your videos similar to how you would optimize other social media posts with tags and keywords. Optimizing your videos will increase the chance of your videos being suggested to viewers.
Know Your Content
Just like the website, knowing the different assets and content your marketing team provides will give you a leg up on your competition. It will also give you a good response to the common objection of, “just send me some info”. If you know your content well enough you can respond by asking what type of info they’d be most interested in, A, B, or C. By giving them options it forces them to respond while also informing you about what aspect of your product or service they’d be most interested in. Sometimes, countering with this offer will actually open up the conversation and they’ll tell you everything you want to know right there. By understanding what you can offer besides a call with your AE, you build up the credibility and expertise you need to form a lasting relationship.
8. Test and Optimize
Just like any other marketing strategy, testing and optimizing your lead generation campaigns and follow up tactics will help your team figure out what works and what doesn’t. Whether it be your retargeting, LinkedIn, or content, your team should always be A/B testing and optimizing. If you are stuck trying to think of new ideas, you should check out your competitors. By doing this, you can see what they are doing to differentiate and you can use that to your advantage. If they have gated content, you should subscribe and see what kind of content they have, and see how you can generate better content.
Test and Optimize
But this time we’re talking about your messaging and outreach cadence. Every sales development team is different and will have different benchmarks they see as successful. In order to give yourself the best shot at success, you need to be able to go through multiple iterations of your outreach strategy to find what works best for you. Struggling with email open rates? A/B test a few different subject lines. Connect rate going down? Try changing up the frequency at which you reach out or the medium through which you do it. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity. The only way you’re going to improve is by trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
9. Use a CRM
Taking advantage of CRM software can help you keep track of the leads you are generating, as well as any opportunities, deals, and email tracking. Integrating your CRM with your lead generation and follow up tactics will help your team keep track of your leads, and provide everyone with a consistent experience. Your team should set up an email marketing automation where you can start guiding your prospects down your sales funnel. You can also schedule social media posts and content with your CRM to create an omnichannel experience for your followers.
You know that person…the one on your team who never seems to put all the right details into your CRM on a consistent basis? Don’t be that person. Everyone knows how CRMs work in theory, but the biggest missing piece when it comes to actually using the tool is consistency. If you don’t log your activities and conversations the same, detailed way each time it’s detrimental to both you and the rest of your team, current, and future.
10. Lead Generation Software
Using a lead generation software, like Visitor Queue, can help increase your revenue by 10-20%. Visitor Queue can identify the name, contact details, and user data of the businesses that visit your website. Understandably, Visitor Queue is one of the easiest ways to generate qualified leads, since they have already visited your website, we just tell you who they were! Plus, you can send your leads to your CRM software.
Learn from the Experts
Sales and sales development are different. Hiring a sales director or two and telling your sales manager they’re his or her responsibility won’t cut it. For many organizations, outsourcing to a firm like demandDrive is about more than just saving a few bucks. By using us (or any of our competitors) you’ll get all the expertise and experience of a fully developed sales dev team without having to build it in-house or hire an expert full time. Don’t want to outsource, you say? Fair enough. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn from a conversation or piece of content from one of these firms.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to conduct lead generation and then follow up with the leads. How do you choose the right lead generation and follow up tactics? Well, it’s different for every business. To choose the right lead generation and follow up tactics, you need to align your business goals and objectives, along with how your business serves its customers. Narrow it down to a few tactics on this list, and come up with a game plan of how you and your team can execute them. They don’t all have to be done at the same time, sometimes it can be best to start small.
We would like to thank demandDrive for collaborating with us on this article. If you have any questions about how Visitor Queue and demandDrive can help drive business growth, don’t hesitate to reach out!